SAFE-T Act Ruled Unconstitutional by Illinois Judge

By Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times

December 28, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL – An Illinois judge ruled on Wednesday that parts of the controversial SAFE-T Act are unconstitutional.

According to Judge Thomas Cunningham’s ruling the Pre-Trial Fairness Act is unconstitutional and violates the separation of powers and the Victims’ Rights Act.  The ruling will prevent pre-trial release provisions and bail reform from going into effect January 1 in the 65 counties that filed the lawsuit.

The flawed SAFE-T Act prompted 65 counities to file lawsuits last October in an attempt to prevent the law from being enacted.  The dozens of lawsuits were later consolidated into a single lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Kankakee County.

“Today’s ruling is a setback for the principles we fought to protect through the passage of the SAFE-T Act. The General Assembly and advocates worked to replace an antiquated criminal justice system with a system rooted in equity and fairness. We cannot and should not defend a system that fails to keep people safe by allowing those who are a threat to their community the ability to simply buy their way out of jail. I thank the Attorney General for his work on this case and look forward to the Illinois Supreme Court taking up the appeal as soon as possible.” Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker said in a statement.

Frank Conklin, Illinois Political Columnist for The Chicago Times.  Views and comments expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Chicago Times.